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NJ ACCELERATE


NJ Accelerate encourages the participation of New Jersey Entrepreneurs in high-quality accelerator programs, which increase the growing young, innovative companies in the state.

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DOLLAR AMOUNT

Accelerators
1:1 matching sponsorship up to $25,000 per event capped at $100,000 
………
Graduates
1:1 matching loan funding up to $250,000 
NJEDA grant rent support up to 6 months

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BENEFITS

Increase NJ deal flow for Approved Accelerators
………
Expand access to best-in-class accelerators for NJ businesses
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Stimulates business growth.


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TARGET APPLICANTS

Open to best-in-class accelerators and Approved Accelerator graduate businesses.


 “NJ Accelerate is designed to mitigate the many obstacles that early-stage entrepreneurs often face when starting their businesses, ranging from limited business expertise to lack of funding.”

-NJEDA Chief Executive Offer Tim Sullivan


APPROVED ACCELERATORS


Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab


Cleantech Open Northeast 


VentureWell’s ASPIRE Program


University City Science Center - Launch Lane

APPLICATION

NJ Accelerate is a two-step process to encourage the engagement of accelerator programs in New Jersey, while facilitating the participation of businesses in these accelerator programs.

Instructions for applying:

To be considered for participation in NJ Accelerate, an Accelerator Program must complete and sign the Eligibility Form then submit with the following diligence materials to the NJEDA via email to NJAccelerate@njeda.com.

Due Diligence Items

  • NJEDA Legal Questionnaire
  • Business Incorporation Certificate
  • Detailed Screening Process for Applicants
  • Structured Curriculum Overview
  • Written Testimonials/References
  • Mentor/Expert list with titles and bios
  • Examples of online networking/engagement platforms used by Accelerator
  • List of events produced/hosted by Accelerator over the past 12 months
  • Accelerator Investment Track Record
  • Accelerator Investment Funding details (amount, structure, etc.)
  • Examples of graduate outcomes
  • List of prior NJ graduates
  • List of corporate senior management participating (if applicable)
  • Diversity and Inclusion Bonus (if applicable)

Application

Click here to download the Application for an Accelerator

An approved Accelerator Program is eligible to receive sponsorship to reimburse the cost of producing ecosystem building events in New Jersey. The NJEDA can match Accelerator expenses on a $1 to $1 basis up to $25,000 per event and capped at $100,000 of total sponsorship (5% increase for Accelerators approved for Diversity and Inclusion Bonus).

Instructions for applying:

Please follow the steps below to have an event approved in order to receive sponsorship reimbursement.

  1. Complete and sign the Event Sponsorship Request Form then submit with the associated supporting cost detail documents to the NJEDA for approval review via email to NJAccelerate@njeda.com.
  2. Once the Request Form has been reviewed and approved (Programmatic Event and associated costs), a Requisition Form will be provided to the approved accelerator.
  3. After all the approved expenses, as noted in the request form, have been incurred by the approved accelerator, the program submits the Requisition Form with verification of payments to the NJEDA via email to NJAccelerate@njeda.com.
  4. The NJEDA will review the request and disburse the event sponsorship funds to the accelerator via check/wire transfer if all requirements have been met.

Application

Click here to download the fillable pdf of the NJ Accelerate Event Sponsorship Request Form

The NJEDA can fund up to the first 6 months of a lease for physical space at an approved NJ Ignite collaborative workspace for a graduate company from an approved Accelerator Program (a bonus month is available for companies with WMBE certification).

Instructions for applying:

To be considered for the rent benefit, an online application must be submitted to the NJEDA within 6 months of graduation of an approved accelerator program or departing physical space proved by the approved accelerator program.  The online application has in two parts. The first is completed by the collaborative workspace. Complete, an email is generated and sent to the contact at the graduate company provided within the application. This will give this contact access to complete the second part of the application. Once this second part is completed, the application is officially submitted to the NJEDA for review. Due diligence items are required to be uploaded in both parts of the application.

Rent grant application – Collaborative workspace Required Due Diligence Attachments

Rent grant application – NJ Graduate Company Required Due Diligence Attachments

  • Self-Certification
  • NJ Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Current Executive Summary / Business Plan / Latest Investor Presentation
  • Certificate/Articles of Incorporation or similar company formation documentation
  • Employee Verification Form
  • Executed Lease/Membership Agreement
  • Certificate of Completion from Approved Accelerator
  • Current NJ WR30 & Federal 941, or NJ Registered PEO Letter
  • M/WBE Certification (if applicable)

Early-stage businesses interested in becoming a certified M/WBE must complete an application with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury Division of Revenue. M/WBE certifications are valid for 3 years.

For more information on M/WBE certification, please call the Division’s Business Registration and Certification Office at (609) 292-2146 or visit: https://www.njportal.com/DOR/SBERegistry/

Application:

Click here to access the application for the Graduate Rent Benefit.

Instructions for applying:

To be considered for the investment benefit, a graduate company must have received a qualified investment from the approved Accelerator Program. If the company has received an investment, online application must be submitted to the NJEDA within 6 months of graduation of an approved Accelerator Program.  The online application should be completed by the graduate company. Due diligence items are required to be uploaded in the application.

Investment application – NJ Graduate Company Required Due Diligence Attachments

  • Exhibit 1 – NJ Tax Clearance Certificate
    Instructions for obtaining this are below:
    • Division of Taxation Tax Clearance Certificate required. Certificates may be requested through the State of New Jersey’s Premier Business Services (PBS) portal online.
    • Under the Tax & Revenue Center, select Tax Services, then select Business Incentive Tax Clearance.
    • If the applicant’s account is in compliance with its tax obligations and no liabilities exist, the Business Incentive Tax Clearance can be printed directly through PBS.
  • Exhibit 2 – Certificate of Completion from Approved Accelerator
  • Exhibit 3 – Documentation / Agreement for Investment
  • Exhibit 4 – Bank Statements confirming receipt of Investment to be matched
  • Exhibit 5 – Current Capitalization Table
  • Exhibit 6 – Current Employee List
  • Exhibit 7 – Current NJ WR30 & Federal 941, or NJ Registered PEO Letter
  • Exhibit 8 – Current Executive Summary / Business Plan / Latest Investor Presentation
  • Exhibit 9 – M/WBE Certification (if applicable)
  • Exhibit 10 – Management prepared financial statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement, quarterly basis, prior 2 year actual, next 3 years projected)
  • Exhibit 11 – Certificate/Articles of Incorporation or similar company formation documentation

Additional due diligence documentation may be requested.

Application:

There is a $500 fee to submit this application

Click here to access the Online Application for the Graduate Investment Benefit

PROGRAM DETAILS

NJ Accelerate recognizes the strengths of accelerators in nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs. Through NJ Accelerate, the NJEDA seeks to provide entrepreneurs access to best-in-class programs and return home with the tools and support to grow their businesses in the Garden State.
 
An accelerator is a fixed-term, cohort-based “boot camp” offering educational programs for start-up founders, exposing them to a wide variety of mentors, including former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists (VCs), angel investors, and corporate executives.

Through the NJ Accelerate Program, NJEDA will:

  • Promote Approved Accelerator program opportunities to the NJ innovation ecosystem.
  • Match sponsorship support for Approved Accelerator programs and events held in NJ.
  • Provide direct loans and rent support to eligible Approved Accelerator graduates.
  • Support Governor Murphy’s goal of making NJ the most diverse innovation ecosystem in the country

NJ Accelerate is a two-step process to encourage the engagement of accelerator programs in New Jersey, while facilitating the participation of businesses in these accelerator programs:

1.  Accelerator operators apply to the NJEDA to be pre-qualified as an “Approved Accelerator”.
2.  Approved Accelerator graduates are eligible for financial assistance from the NJEDA in NJ.

As a benefit for Approved Accelerators participating in NJ Accelerate, the NJEDA will:

  • Disseminate information about and facilitate introductions for Approved Accelerator Programs.​
  • Offer cost-sharing sponsorship to each Approved Accelerator to host Programmatic Events in the State (e.g. Accelerator’s Demo Day; cohort road show; an in-person class, etc.) 


Cost-sharing sponsorship will be available at an amount of up to $25,000 per event, per Approved Accelerator in the form of a 1:1 matching sponsorship. NJEDA will cap its total cost-sharing sponsorship at $100,000 for each Approved Accelerator during this pilot program, with consideration for a sponsorship bonus of 5% for Approved Accelerators that demonstrate meaningful written policies and practices for attracting and promoting companies owned by women and minority persons, as defined by the NJ Department of the Treasury for purposes of the MBE/ WBE certification.

As your company looks to soon graduate from an Accelerator, you are likely thinking about next steps: Where should I locate? What kind of support does my business qualify for? Is there support for my business? What investment can I attract?

NJ Accelerate is available to make your your decision a bit easier…the program has two components: Rent Support and Direct Loan Support. You may apply for either or both components, depending on your needs. 

ELIGIBILTY

Eligibility for Accelerator Operators

The NJEDA will welcome all accelerators that meet the program criteria and evaluate them during the pilot on a first-come, first-served basis. The accelerator entity must meet the minimum following criteria:

  • The Accelerator is best-in-class, defined by the NJEDA’s evaluation criteria (see eligibility checklist)
  • The Accelerator has a US presence accessible for a site visit, etc.
  • The Accelerator will provide financial investment in some form to at least one participant company per cohort
  • The Accelerator must have graduated a minimum of two cohorts prior to NJ Accelerate approval
  • The Accelerator Program has a consideration for at least one sector including: advanced manufacturing, information/technology, lifesciences, finance and insurance, clean energy, food and beverage, advanced transportation, food and beverage, film and digital media with a preference for all accelerator programs that have a focus on supporting female entrepreneurs and founders of color.

Eligibility Requirements for Businesses Participating in Approved Accelerators:

Companies must meet the following criteria within six months of graduation (or the latter date of departure out of the physical space offered, with respect only to the rent award of NJ Accelerate) from the Approved Accelerator to qualify for support.

  • Registered to conduct business in NJ
  • More than 50% of the company employees work or pay taxes in NJ
  • The Company is in one of the eight NJ targeted sectors as listed in Governor Murphy’s Economic Development Plan, The State of Innovation, referenced above.

The company must support its verification with the following documents, including, at minimum:

  • Registration certificate to conduct business in NJ
  • 2-page executive summary
  • NJWR30, or NJ Registered PEO letter
  • Letter from Approved Accelerator confirming successful program graduation

For more information about the NJ Accelerate Program, please click here to review the board memorandums that established the program.

PROGRAM DETAILS

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions or would like to become an Approved Accelerator, please send your completed Accelerator Eligibility Checklist to njaccelerate@njeda.com